thank you for the sponsorship!!
Now this finally seems like a real thing - THIS is what it was all for - THIS is where it counts! I’m so excited that lots of people have pledged to sponsor me or have done so already. It really is an amazing cause, and I can’t wait to report back from the village in May to show how all the money - how all your money - is making a real difference out there. Thank you very, very much.
And an absolutely massive, gigantic, bear hug of a thank you to all my friends and family and work colleagues that have supported me throughout this challenge - it’s made such a difference and I really couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you. And I’m sorry for all the moaning. I promise never to talk about marathons ever again.
THE LAST ONE!!
Finally! Was meant to be last year but I ran out of days, was meant to be boxing day but I felt super poorly, was meant to be last weekend but it was proper snowy… but finally, here it is, the last one. Marathon Number 12.
It’s just a made-up ad-hoc one round Gloucester, because there isn’t time to register for an official one now and still try and squeeze the challenge into technically all taking place in a year, so here it is - we measured it out in the car like a FIVE times -
It was hard. They’re always hard. People ask if they get easier but they don’t - it’s not like they get shorter. They’re always 26 miles. And even if you get fitter, you’re still trying just as hard, so the level of discomfort will always be the same. Just hopefully you’ll get a bit faster.
Maybe that’s true of everything - you always try your hardest and it’s always uncomfortable - you don’t start trying less because you feel like you’ve been trying for a while now so maybe you can ease off… the level of trying and the level of discomfort is always constant. But hopefully, after a while, maybe you can look back and see that you’ve come a bit further.
I’m so pleased this is over. It’s like finishing exams. I’m elated, relieved, I feel free… no more guilt for not going out for a run, no more worrying about whether I’ve had enough protein, no more sorting out logistics to go and run these things… I am free!!
one more to go… DEFO in need of some runspiration…
I can’t get enough of these cheesy nike adverts -
shame on them for not sponsoring me
‘You may be more talented than me. You might be smarter than me. And you may be better looking then me. But if we get on a treadmill together, you are going to get off first or I’m going to die. Its really that simple. I’m not going to be overworked’ - Will Smith
second to last one… i think i can i know i can…
A beautiful day in Pisa…. to say, go for a walk, a coffee, a crepe…
Bit of a late start for me as I left my timing chip thing in the hotel and had to run back and get it. So at this point, I’m running with all the seniors, still trying to work out if this is the full marathon, the half marathon or some completely different event…
Stunning river view
at about 20miles… really struggling…
but…. then there’s flo rida!! Two miles to go and only one Flo, only one Ridaaaaa!! Nearly there, not long now, I think I can, I know I can, I think I can…
THE END!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!
next stop - pisa!!!
ok, so here’s the plan…
Thank you so much to all of you who have sponsored me personally, or contributed towards the project in some way - MASSIVELY appreciated! The plan is to organise all the logistics of how this will help the village early in the new year, and then go out to real life Tanzania in May (we pay for our own trips, so every penny that we raise will go on helping to improve the facilities and equipment at the Village of Hope).
We hope to help as many parts of the village as possible - the school, the family homes and the clinic.
We hope to take out loads of this stuff -
because learning is fun. Plus loads of these -
because reading is also fun. Also, if anyone wants to donate children’s books, that would also be amazing. I’m heading home this weekend to get all my old ones.
Plus loads of this stuff -
mmmm yummy. There is a clinic set up at the village where mums-to-be can get help when they give birth. This is so important, especially if mum has the HIV virus - the virus isn’t necessarily inherited by the baby unless there are complications at birth, or unless she breast-feeds. Powdered milk means she doesn’t have to and helps ensure the baby can grow strong and HIV-free. The clinic is now getting busier and busier, with more than 2,300 patients visiting every month. I know - LOADS!!
We’re also hoping to do some improvements to the area, like put a fence around the school, plus to the school itself - like painting the school class rooms and hallways, so it might look all spangly like this one -
I’m sorry it may sound a bit vague at the moment but there are just so many things we can do to help there, and we want to be careful not to over-promise at this stage, so that they don’t make arrangements around something that we might not be able to deliver on. Plus we don’t want some kid reading it on the internet and then when we go out in May they’re all like ‘hey bitch where’s my ipad’.
But any contribution - £1, £5, £10 - would be so worthwhile. It wouldn’t get lost along the way in any messy admin situation - it would all go on real life things in the village, to help these orphans.
Cutest kid ever?
To donate money, there is a little ‘help the village - please donate here’ thing on the left hand side of the page. If you’re tempted….
nearly there now…
just one more on Saturday and then one more on the 15th and then it’s OVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!
marathon number 10: cheltenham and gloucester
Back home to Gray HQ for number 10, where Mrs Gray was on hand for measuring routes in the car (thanks mum!) and here’s what we went with -
…as well as meeting me every 8 miles of so with sugary sports drinks that we don’t name because they wouldn’t sponsor us (IT’S FOR AFRICA!!)
Done. Cannot wait for this hellish experience to be over. And to be in Actual Real Life Africa doing something really cool and helpful.
the verdict: chester marathon